From Roman to Moroccan by Carole Rommene

From Roman to MoroccanAn oriental invitation in the centre of Arles

When you think of Arles, you are immediately reminded of Roman monuments, Van Gogh’s vivid tones or provençal textiles. It’s none of these that brought us to the antique city a while ago. My husband and I had heard of a Moroccan restaurant that was apparently worth a detour from the usual touristic trail. Leaving the children with their cousins for the night, we headed for a well-deserved and oh so rare night out.

 

We found the restaurant quite easily. Parking could be quite tricky during busy times but we were lucky to find a spot along the quai Max Dormay. Located next to the arthouse cinema and Actes Sud publishing house, L’Entrevue features a very pleasant large terrace surrounded by bamboo plants just opposite the Rhône river — a perfect setting during the warmer months. However, if the weather is not so glorious, the indoor area is equally inviting.

 

The menu features different sorts of Couscous, Tajine or Pastilla — a kind of meat pie made with filo pastry, as well as more traditional European dishes. I always think “When in Rome, do as the Romans”, so I ordered the lamb, prune and almond tajine, whilst my husband went for the onion, pickled lemon, liver and olives chicken dish, both served with sweet semolina. It was a busy night and we had to wait for a while, but when the food finally arrived and we had our first mouthful, it was worth every minute. The slow-cooked meat was so tender it melted in your mouth and the sweetness of the fruit combined with the savoury taste of the meat was both surprising and scrumptious. We finished off the evening beautifully with a Moroccan pastry and traditional tea made with pine nuts and fresh mint leaves.

 

The service was professional and courteous and our waitress Khadija was lovely. We left the place feeling completely relaxed and our head filled with exotic images and aromas. If you fancy a bit of escapism, this is the place to go. Especially as it also features a traditional hammam where you can go and be pampered while waiting for your appetite to grow. Perfect Autumn treat maybe?

 

L’Entrevue
Place Nina Berberova
off Quai Max Dormoy
13200 Arles
Tel: 04 90 93 37 28
www.lentrevue-restaurant.com

Open 7 days a week.
Couscous from €14.50, meat tajines €18.80, pastilla from €16, Moroccan pastry €2.30